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California is an expensive place to live, and the state’s lofty poverty levels as revealed by several measurements certainly reinforces the pain of heavy cost burdens.

But one should also note the state’s noteworthy and broad economic revival from the Great Recession has significantly trimmed the ranks of the impoverished by those same metrics.

Take the federal government’s so-called “supplemental” poverty rate — demographic math that includes regional variances in the cost of living and government assistance. It’s the yardstick that shows California has the nation’s highest rate of poverty among its populace.

The latest report shows 997,000 fewer Californians were living below the poverty line in the 2014-2016 period vs. the 2010-2012 period at the Great Recession’s end.

Let my trusty spreadsheet put that improvement into perspective …

1. Yes, 8 million Californians still were defined by this metric as living in poverty in 2014-2016. No state had more. And, sadly, that’s slightly more than No. 2 and No. 3 combined: Texas and Florida.

2. California was one of only 33 states with declining poverty counts in this four-year, post-recession period. Virginia (up 175,000) and Florida (up 70,000) had the biggest increases in supplemental poverty counts.

3. California’s decline in impoverished residents amounted to a 12.5 percent drop, 13th largest dip among the states and twice the nationwide rate of decline.

4. The state’s recent reduction in its supplemental poverty count was equal to 38 percent of the 2.6 million Americans lifted out of poverty in this timeframe. Remember: California has 13 percent of the nation’s population.

5. The four-year drop in impoverished Californians lowered the state’s supplemental poverty rate to 20.4 percent from 23.8 percent in 2010-2012. Yes, both are national …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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